Snowshoeing Adventure

Yesterday, as part of the Friday local school program, I took sixteen third graders and their teachers out on a snowshoeing adventure! It started with the fitting process and trying to learn names. Each student is assigned a pair of snowshoes for three weeks before they switch to cross country skiing for the remaining three weeks. They arrive dressed for the cold and super excited to be outside – well, that’s what we like to think but it may be because they aren’t in the classroom. Once the entire group is fitted they are ready for the adventure. After I explain a few rules and give some tips on how to walk with big huge shoes on their feet, I get a quick picture and we’re off into the woods.

We head towards the Glen Amble Loop and looked for animal tracks. We saw lots of snowshoe hare tracks and one set of deer tracks. A couple of fox prints wandered across the trail and we saw tiny prints we thought were from a little bird hopping on the snow looking for food. After all that walking they needed a break and just fell over on the side of the trail. I couldn’t resist a photo!

Next we climbed Blueberry Hill. It’s been windy here and the exposed snow varies; hard packed then soft and deep. It was fun not knowing if we were going to sink in a little or be held on the surface. The wind also created some beautiful features in the snow. I’ll call these snow islands.

Once we conquered the hill it was time for the descent! The goal was to stay upright but that didn’t happen, there were kids sprawled out everywhere and laughter bellowed out into the valley! We stopped back at the lodge for some water and then did some exploring on the main trail system. The last trail we snowshoed hadn’t been hiked since the last snow storm. I broke trail in about 17″ of snow and the kids loved it.

After two hours of snowshoeing, they were tired and ready for a snack. We finished our trek and headed back to the warmth of the lodge.

This program is excellent, it introduces kids to the exciting world in winter! It also shows them how much fun they can have while getting exercise during the months some people tend to stay inside. Hopefully it will help them to stay active all year round.

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Warming up the Nordic Body

Joan Benoit Samuelson, Dick Beardsley, Andy Newell, Sue Wemyss (flattery gets you everywhere!), Carol’s son, Kikkan Randall (2 votes), Randy Moss, Martina Navratilova, Victoria’s grandfather. These were the people that the folks in Great Glen’s Nordic Warm up class came up with, in answer to my request, “Name an athlete that you admire.”

I like to start my classes with a quick-answer question each week; as a way to learn a little more about the group’s participants. There’s not meant to be a right or wrong answer, though I was pleased to hear cross country skiers gaining our fair share of votes amongst runners, a football player, tennis player, ski jumper and sailor.

Then it’s onto our activities: on foot, on skis and even on the floor (core strengthening exercises.) We’ve been fortunate to get on snow for both sessions of our class this December. The first week we delved into skate technique, yesterday it was classic.

Undaunted by the damp weather, our group of ten skiers diagonal strided without poles, pushed themselves along the tracks with poles only, sought the timing and balance required for kick double pole, and found their positioning over their skis with a shuffling drill. I finished wet and happy with the group’s progress. We’ll start the New Year off right with our final session of the program, practicing sections of this year’s Nordic Meister course on January 1. Thanks for the tracks, Howie!  ~Sue

Posted in Cross Country Skiing, Great Glen Trails, Trails, Winter | Leave a comment

Clinic Day

In order to make your shopping experience better we feel that it’s important for us to know our product. This way we can put you in the right clothing and gear for your specific needs. Yesterday representatives from SmartWool, Atomic, Swix, Fischer, Rossignol, Salomon and Tubbs Snowshoes spent some time with the Great Glen Trails staff and shared the new stuff for this upcoming season. All products described below can be purchased right here at Great Glen Outfitters.

What is your first thought when you hear the word wool?………. Scratchy, itchy, uncomfortable well things have changed. SmartWool is the complete opposite, made from Merino wool which comes from Merino sheep. It’s the softest most comfortable fabric to have next to your skin. The most popular product are their socks; colorful, super cozy, and they manage the moisture keeping the fabric odor free, naturally.

Check out this video of how a SmartWool sock is made:

SmartWool also has many other products; both bottom and top base layers, mid layers, hats, gloves and more. Which we sell here at Great Glen Outfitters. Also SmartWool is not just to be worn to keep you warm, wear it all year long for maximum comfort and incredible breathability. 97% of their socks are made right here in the US and 100% of the PHD sock line is produced here too. Each product is Zque certificated to be sure it’s from the finest sheep in New Zealand. “Our growers follow stringent guidelines in everything they do from animal welfare to land management to workers’ rights all the way down to the quality of fiber they sell”

It’s a great product so come try it out! Thanks to Devon for sharing all your knowledge, we learned a lot about wool!

Drew from Swix and Atomic shared some great stuff too.

He introduced a spray Glide Wax Cleaner for fluor glide wax. It is applied before waxing and helps the wax absorb into the base of the ski. A new and different classic ski the Atomic Skintec has a “climbing skin” attached to the kick zone. No glide waxing necessary.  Check it out!

He showed us the line of poles available as well, which range from your basic pole all the to the performance racing triangular shaped shaft of the Swix Triac. Drew will be back in January during Nordic Meisters if you’d like to demo some Atomics.

Next Kelly gave us the 1, 2, 3 of Swix gloves. Swix has a simple warmth system. System 1 are the lightest gloves usually for racing or spring skiing, System 2 mid weight and System 3 for the cold cold days. Some distinct features you’ll find in their gloves: lycra cuff to fit under your pole strap and jacket cuff, terry wipe for when your nose drips, outside seams for comfort, and scalloped fingers vented side panels between each finger.

Susan tries on a level 2 glove

We also sell a great line of Swix jackets and pants from a recreational skier all the way up to the competitive racer.

In the afternoon representatives were here from Rossignol, Fischer, Salomon and Tubbs sharing the latest in boots, bindings and more clothing.

Our staff prides themselves with the knowledge, recreating and racing with the equipment and clothing we sell so come on in to Great Glen Outfitters and get fitted to the right stuff!

Posted in Cross Country Skiing, Great Glen Trails, Snowshoeing, Winter | Leave a comment